The World Ensemble
Dear Subscribers to The World Ensemble

As we continue our virtual ensemble work, this May edition of  The World Ensemble  helps you adapt to the new normal. Consider the critical role of inclusion—that fundamental Sistema principle—in distance learning; learn about the challenges faced and solutions found by programs in rural Chile, Johannesburg, and Melbourne; read personal reflections—on the relationship between arranging and conducting, and on the importance of socialization in ensemble work. We also provide you with a time-sensitive resource you’ll want to examine.
Now and always, share with us . Take our survey , if you have a few minutes. And keep doing the difficult, essential work you believe in. It matters now more than ever.

Thanks for reading, and stay safe, 
The WE Team 

Editorial: Pondering Inclusion in
Times of COVID-19
By Dr. Susanne Burns, Development Consultant and Senior Arts Leader, Sistema England
On January 30, 2020, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a Global Public Health Emergency. We are living in unprecedented times and facing one of the most widespread public health emergencies we have ever faced as a worldwide community.

As our schools and cultural venues closed and countries moved to lockdown, we saw a rush to take every kind of learning online. But this brings challenges: practical access to the internet and to technology, the individual and special needs of those accessing the learning, and of course the capacity of the workforce to deliver it.

Orquesta Juvenil de Curanilahue: Reflecting on the 25-year History of Chile’s First Youth Orchestra

By Jessica Tufte, Hazel Ross, and Caroline Campos, Global Leaders Program 2020

When you arrive in Curanilahue, Chile, one of the first things you see is a large statue of an upright wooden hand. The smaller replicas available for purchase in town read, "Tengo las manos ásperas pero hay pan en mi mesa," which roughly translates to: "Though our hands are worn, there is bread on the table."

The Pizzicato Effect

By Sylvia Hosking, Schools Program Manager for Learning, Engagement & Innovation, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra

The Pizzicato Effect, the flagship community music program of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) in Melbourne, Australia, was inspired by El Sistema Venezuela. Affectionately known as “Pizzi” to its community, the program takes its name from The Butterfly Effect, a book by Andy Andrews whose central idea is that one small change can move mountains. For our students, the one “small” change of attending Pizzicato can change the course of their lives.

Bringing the Joy of Music to Children of Johannesburg

By Adeyemi Oladiran, Founder and Executive Director, Music Enlightenment Project , Johannesburg, South Africa

The Music Enlightenment Project (MEP) is a community-based initiative in the heart of Braamfontein, Johannesburg, with the vision of a world where the lives of all children are transformed and enriched through music education.

Special Resource: The Orchestra of the Americas Offers Free Masterclasses and Webinars

In response to the music learning limitations of our current crisis, the The Orchestra of the Americas has created AMERICAS RESPONSE, a new distance-learning platform that young musicians and teaching artists across the Americas can join for free. It provides access to performance opportunities and masterclasses with some of the greatest musicians across South, Central, and North America, from now through June 2, covering subjects from bassoon-playing to orchestra auditions to “Player-to-Player” live conversations. While making use of this resource, be sure to explore the three arms of Americas Response—OAcademy Online, #AmericasVoices, & Player-to-Player Series—and join this growing community of teaching artists and performers.

The Power of the Arrangement

By Emma Oliver-Trend, Artistic Associate and Arranger-in-Residence, Orchestras for All
I write as ‘Arranger-in-Residence’ for Orchestras for All—a U.K. music education charity that strives to remove the barriers that young people face in ensemble music-making by providing inclusive and accessible orchestral experiences in and out of school. We have three national programs; a 100-piece orchestra ( National Orchestra for All, NOFA), a 30–40 school kick-start ensemble program ( Modulo), and a professional development program in Ensemble Leadership ( Conductors for Change).

OrKidstra's Youth Group Gives Students Space to Be Themselves

By Andrew Gesing, Program Coordinator, OrKidstra , Ottawa, Canada
“From pizza parties and Frisbee games to movie-watching and intense card matches, Fridays have been something to look even more forward to!” For Noah Linson-Hudson and almost 30 other OrKidstra students, Friday night Chamber Music and Youth Group has been the highlight of the week.

The Ambassadors' Exchange
The WE Ambassadors are a group of El Sistema student musicians who serve as representatives of their programs around the world.

Axelle Miel, Ang Misyon Cebu (The Philippines)
Quarantine and lockdown, now familiar to all of us, have prevented in-person school and lessons for the last month. While this social distancing means that fewer people can be infected, it also means an indefinite pause to learning for many.
Matthew Jones, National Orchestra for All (U.K.)
The U.K., like most other nations, is in a period of shutdown that has required all non-essential public activity to cease, including concerts and schools. But it's not all doom and gloom.
Pedro Ramos, Harmony Project (U.S.A.)
COVID-19 has halted our daily human experience, a loss that is being felt by music students. For the sake of keeping ourselves sane through routine, education facilities have resorted to online classes. 

Thank you for reading! 

Be on the lookout for additional resources and news later this month.

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